There was a time when people memorized phone numbers. Even if you didn’t know everybody’s contact information, you likely remember a handful or so. For the average person, it would be the phone numbers of close family members and friends. You may also recall memorable phone numbers used by local businesses.
Unfortunately, those days are forever behind us. Now, most people store phone numbers on their smartphones and tablets. The closest we get to memorizing phone numbers is putting them on speed dial! If someone lost their phone, it is likely they wouldn’t know a number to call.
Does this mean you can just use any phone number for your business?
Even in today’s digital world, there is value in creating and using an easy to remember phone number. You want a phone number that represents your brand identity. This is a number customers use to call your business. It is a number you use on advertising and marketing materials. Therefore you need to put some thought into your VoIP business phone number.
A lot of small businesses – especially entrepreneurs – get by without a business phone number at all. When you are just starting, it doesn’t make sense to buy a business phone system. Especially if you are the only person in the office!
Quite often, small businesses employees will use their personal cell phones for work calls. You may even have an aging landline or two for office use. But while it may be cost-effective, does it serve your business and customers?
Business phone systems come with a lot of features that help you manage calls. As your business grows, so will your call volume. A personal cell phone might be fine for a single user. What happens when you hire your first employee? Or when your business grows enough to have separate departments?
That’s why you need a VoIP business phone system. You also need a VoIP phone number to go along with it. Having a good business phone number goes a long way in establishing your brand identity and credentials with customers. Even if you operate out of your garage or home, do you want customers knowing that? An easy to remember phone number provides so many advantages that it is foolhardy not to get your own.
There are several ways to get a business phone number. In the days of landlines, the only way to get a new number was to purchase a separate line. That means you needed an extra device and pay for the new line each month.
With VoIP that’s no longer the case. If you are a solo entrepreneur you can get a free Google Voice number for your business. The service can forward calls to your personal device. It also offers additional features like voicemail. You can even add the number to multiple devices so you can answer calls at any time.
However, this option is not good if you have more than one user. There are a few services that give you a business phone number without requiring a separate line. If you already have a business phone system, check if your provider offers additional numbers. Most vendors usually do and some even include them for free.
Another advantage of using a VoIP business phone number is that you can take it with you anywhere. If you want to switch providers, porting your business phone number is a simple and quick process.
You have many options when selecting a business phone number. With older technology, you had three options namely:
You can get a local number if you purchase phone services from a carrier in your area. Toll-free numbers are perfect for organizations that have nationwide operations. Vanity numbers are the perfect option if you want to create memorable numbers for your customers to use.
Thanks to VoIP, it is much easier to get any of these numbers than before. Virtual numbers allow you to use local area codes even if you don’t have an office in that location. You can also various purchase toll-free and vanity numbers, depending on availability.
But which number should you get for your business? There are pros and cons to each. Depending on your requirements and situation, one of these numbers should work well.
A local phone number is the most common type of business number you can get. In most cases, it is completely free. That’s because your service provider will give you a local number when you purchase all services. VoIP allows you to get local phone numbers in any area code you prefer. The only constraint is whether your vendor has available numbers in that area code.
Local numbers are perfect for small businesses with brick-and-mortar locations. If you want to establish a connection with the community and mostly have local callers, this number works great.
It is a good fit for businesses such as a bakery or local bike repair shop. You’re not likely to get customers from the neighboring city or state! At the same time, having a local number assures your customers that you are a member of their community.
Toll-free numbers allow customers to contact you from any location without long-distance charges. The obvious downside is that you have to pay for every call. On the upside, it helps you establish a professional image. Toll-free numbers are often more memorable than ones with local area codes.
Although a large company is more likely to have a toll-free number, small businesses can also use them. If you have callers from different states or all over the country, these numbers are a good idea.
These are the most sought-after numbers for businesses. They are easy to use as they spell out memorable words instead of being a string of random numbers. For instance, a local bakery could have the number 1-800-CUPCAKE. A florist could use 1-800-FLOWERS. How cool would that be?
Vanity numbers can be expensive. If your business name is a common word, the vanity number may not even be available. But you can get creative when trying to spell out words with your phone number. If your business name is short and/or memorable, try using that when creating a good business phone number. Your vanity number can also be a toll-free number or have a local area code.
It can be hard to come up with a phone number that is easy to remember. But you can take your time coming up with something. There is no deadline here! Be sure to avoid a few common pitfalls though. It’s easy to blunder into these errors when creating a new phone number.
You will have to get creative when coming up with a memorable phone number. But that doesn’t mean you should use misspellings or odd spellings of common words. It only makes it harder for customers to remember your number. Dropping vowels from the name might be a cool idea for modern websites. It’s not so good when it comes to phone numbers.
A lot of businesses use informal language in their marketing or advertising materials. Your entire brand identity may be youthful and informal. But that doesn’t mean you should use slang words or idioms for your phone number.
It can alienate your audience because they’re unfamiliar with it. Many people will also find it hard to remember. Keep in mind that it is also difficult for your customers who don’t use English as their first language.
This is the hardest tip to follow. You don’t want to use words that have nothing to do with your actual business. 1-800-FLOWERS is a good number but not if you run a shipping service! Your phone number should reflect your business, not your personality. Strive for something memorable, professional, and related to your office.
Finally, don’t forget to check availability for the number of your choice. You may want to come up with two or three options in case your first choice is already taken. Consider using a combination of numbers and words. You can also ask your employees for creative ideas.
Now that you know how to create a good business phone number, you’re all set to get one for your business. If you don’t have VoIP service yet, it’s a good time to get a VoIP business phone system. At VoIPstudio, we have numerous VoIP tutorials to help you get started. Call us and get your easy to remember phone number today!
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